Forty-five years ago this week, Ronald Reagan gave a speech for Barry Goldwater in which he appealed to the country to choose a conservative candidate who would lead with conservative values in 1964.
Some of the issues they faced were an ever expanding national debt, out of control spending, unprecedented growth of the federal branch, and an increase in funding for welfare programs. What Ronald Reagan outlined in his speech was a call to chose correctly – to chose a candidate based on conservative values, leadership, and principles the candidate would apply to the nations highest elected office, the office of the President.
Here is an excerpt of his speech in which Reagan outlines a story of what our country meant to an immigrant and his perspective on our great nation:
“Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, “We don’t know how lucky we are.” And the Cuban stopped and said, “How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to.” And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.”
Reagan goes on to outline what he believed at that time, 1964, the election was about. When you read this excerpt, I think you will believe, as I do, that our election in 2010 is no different:
“And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism…”
2010 will indeed be a year, and a time, for choosing between taking our country back and putting it on track to prosperity for every American or for choosing to let our federal government continue down its path of nationalizing more and more segments of our economy and eroding the core of what has made America great and what America is, in the words of Ronald Reagan, “the last stand on earth.”
What is this nation worth to you and your family? What are our freedoms, our liberties, and our constitution worth to you? Below is the full video of this great speech Ronald Reagan gave to the nation in 1964 where he made the case for a similar choice we are facing in 2010. Some things have not changed in forty-five years. The faces have changed; the words have changed; the intent remains.